Fresh, non-derivative ideas--that's what Hollywood says it craves. The most often heard complaint from producers is 'I've seen that movie before!' Before you write your movie, has anyone seen it before? Have you seen it before? Try the concept out on a few people first just to see.

There is something to be said for stories that are close enough to other popular stories that comparisons can be made. This can facilitate pitching, as in "It's a kind of King Kong meets Cinema Paradiso", using familiar titles to make clear the point. It also ensures producers that the idea isn't too 'out there' to make it at the box office.

If you are the sort who does not feel up to creating a whole new genre, or sending all of Hollywood spinning in a whole new story direction, you may try what one writer suggests. He develops movie concepts the same way he heard a writer of great popular songs composed new songs. He starts with a hit movie and alters one note at a time until it's his.

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